I have looked far and wide, and also read a lot of the (mostly marked duplicate) questions already posted here. But I can't seem to find a conclusive answer for my situation.

I want to run a browser window in kiosk mode on a Pi Zero, running Raspbian Jessie lite.

It came to my attention that Chromium is no longer supplied as a package in Jessie, and that the hacky workaround is only for the pi 2 and 3.

Furthermore, most people don't bother with the lite version and run a full desktop underneath.

I'm looking for the least "hacky" approach to this, since I want it to run stable yet perform.

  • 1
    If 'performant' is one of your criteria you may have picked the wrong Pi. I've read some good things about kweb and epiphany in the past, might be worth a look.
    – goobering
    Commented Mar 4, 2016 at 10:56
  • 1
    you should read that as "as performant as it can be" aka optimized.
    – Havnar
    Commented Mar 4, 2016 at 11:04
  • 1
    I thought Jessie-Lite didn't have a desktop environment. Commented Mar 5, 2016 at 2:22
  • 3
    you can just install one afterwards, or just a window manager alone
    – Havnar
    Commented Mar 6, 2016 at 18:07

4 Answers 4


jessie-lite does not come with a graphical server, and therefore you will not be able to run a graphical application such as a web browser.

The least "hacky" approach is to install jessie (full), and then configure a kiosk mode for a browser of your choice.

  • 1
    just because it doesn't ship with one doesn't mean you can't install one later. You should always be able to install a window-manager etc.
    – Havnar
    Commented Nov 18, 2016 at 9:32
  • 1
    You asked for the least "hacky" approach.
    – SiKing
    Commented Nov 18, 2016 at 16:20

It appears now that the Chromium browser is available. sudo apt-get install chromium-browser rpi-chromium-mods.


You can start with Stretch (latest) light and then install the desktop of your choice which will drag in X and friends. Alternative desktops to LXDE are XFCE and Mate.


Jessie lite is designed as a headless OS so without a "hacky" approach it doesn't look like you can install chrome or another browser. I am running a pi zero W that is doing the exact same thing and running Raspbian Stretch which has chrome pre-installed and it works perfectly. Good luck with your project.

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